Category Archives: Planting & Transplanting

Harvesting & Heading For Autumn

If the tomatoes are ambling, nectarines and peaches, plums and blackberries are all racing from garden to table. Neighbors have gifted us with enough to make lots of jam and desserts, but I’m also making large supplies of fruit vinegars. Delicious in dressings or drizzled over sliced avocados or watermelon, tomatoes or lettuce, homemade fruit vinegars also make excellent shrubs, combinations of vinegars and fizzy water that can be further concocted into mixed drinks. Making them at home, you can avoid the cloying over-sweetness of commercial kinds, and it’s rewarding to combine fruits, or add spices or anything else that strikes your fancy. Around here, the top favorites include a single kind of fruit with the addition of a vanilla bean, cracked peppercorns, lemon peel, or even a cinnamon stick. Here’s the basic recipe and a few favorite variations to play with, but I encourage you to start with cider vinegar, which tastes and carries flavors far better than white vinegar (too harsh) or rice vinegar (too mild). Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Care & Feeding, Climate Change, composting, fall/winter crops, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Pollinators, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Teaching Gardening, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Keeping In Touch Without Touching

Print PDFIf you can’t dye Easter eggs, try sheep…natural dyes of course A Flurry Of Flower Fairies Today Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced that schools will remain closed until September. A lot of other institutions and businesses will remain … Continue reading

Posted in Health & Wellbeing, Natural Dyes, Planting & Transplanting, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Teaching Gardening | 7 Comments

Overcoming Fear Of Food

For now, if you find yourself slipping into food fear (or any other kind, really), put down your device, go outside and plant some greens. Really. You’ll feel better almost immediately and you’ll certainly eat better with lots of fresh greens on hand that don’t need any more decontamination than a swish in cool water and a quick spin dry. Fortunately, nurseries that grow and sell edible plants have been recognized as essential (well duh) so plants and starts are still available. Some nurseries are offering free local delivery, others are letting people call in and pay for orders, then drive through the parking lot for pick up. Take advantage of local options for everyone’s sake (we may save an industry as well as our sanity). Continue reading

Posted in Care & Feeding, Early Crops, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Harvesting & Healthy Soil

When both pantry and freezer fill up, it’s time to make soup! Make enough to share and sit down with younger folks who just might want to learn a little more about growing and cooking.

Tuscan Bean Soup With Black Kale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 organic lemon, juiced, rind grated
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bulb fennel with greens, chopped
2 sweet carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 cups cooked white cannellini beans (or any kind)
1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
1 bunch Black Tuscan kale, cut in ribbons

In a soup pot, combine oil, fennel seed, half the garlic, the lemon rind, pepper flakes, onion, fennel (reserve 1/4 cup chopped greens), and carrots, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium high heat until barely soft (8-10 minutes). Add beans and broth, bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Puree in small batches with remaining garlic and return to pan. Add kale and pepper, cover pan and cook until barely wilted (2-3 minutes). Stir in lemon juice to taste and serve hot, garnished with fennel greens. Serves 4.

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Posted in Annual Color, fall/winter crops, Garden Prep, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening | Tagged , , | 1 Comment